President’s note: “This month, founding member Theresa Donnelly reflects on Brooklin Poetry Society’s origins, and on her own journey as a poet.”
In September of 2008, three poetic souls came together at # 6 Campbell Street in Brooklin, Ontario for the first meeting of the Brooklin Poetry Society. It’s hard to believe that here we are so many years later, still as passionate about poetry as ever. We have since grown in numbers and have tirelessly promoted the art of poetry in the region. So it was particularly satisfying to accept the grant from the Mayor’s Community Development Fund last month in recognition of that effort. We continue to move forward and it’s exciting that our second anthology is in the making and will be released for our very special 10th Anniversary in 2018.
When asked recently what does poetry do for me, a quote from a First Nations’ Elder came to mind. ‘In your society everyone wears watches but no one has time’. Poetry allows me time. In an ever increasingly crazy-busy-world, my channel of creativity demands I offer it some part of my day or my week. Surprisingly enough, I usually find the time even when I think it’s virtually impossible!
My poetic journey probably began in my mother’s womb upon hearing the lyrical loveliness of her voice. When I was 10 years old, I fell in love with W.B. Yeats upon reading ‘The Stolen Child’. I was at the age when one is told to start to fold away childish things. That poem and others like it, gave me permission to hold on to the magic of childhood and honour what might be described as the purest place inside us. So as an adult, I could delve into the realm of imagination fervently.
I believe poetry, like the other arts, connects us to our humanity through beauty and emotional power. Whatever the style, whether it be colloquial, cathartic, evocative, elegiac, fervent, fanciful: poetry can help us deepen the relationship between mind, heart and soul. I believe it allows us to tap into the beautiful truth that lies within each of us.
It’s been said that man’s greatest fear is death, if so, let us be soothed with a quote from another favourite poet, Kahlil Gibran. ‘For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun, and when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance‘